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Nourish Gilbert: healthy eating with a hefty price tag

Nourish Gilbert

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Ever since I've decided to go gluten-free, I've always been excited by the prospect of restaurants and grocery stores offering up an extensive array of gluten-free products. When I heard Nourish Gilbert was opening, I was extremely excited (and so were the numerous people who posted it on my Facebook wall).

The restaurant is located at 1495 S. Higley Road in Gilbert, tucked behind the Fresh & Easy and attached to a gym. My boyfriend and I had a tough time locating it at first and we were a little nonplussed when we walked in because of how tiny it was. It might be my fault for assuming, but I was expecting a sit down restaurant with servers. Instead, you grab a menu from a holder near the register, decided what you want, and order at the counter. You're given a tray with silverware and your drinks and the food is brought out to you when it's ready. I wasn't overly impressed with the service however; the lady working the register barely glanced up from the paperwork she was reading when we walked in and even though we looked a bit confused, she didn't offer any help. After a minute or two, she simply asked if we were ready to order.

By default, all dishes at Nourish Gilbert are soy, gluten, and dairy free. Breakfast is served all day, which is a plus considering how many breakfast options are available. I'm a huge pancake lover and having them available to me at Nourish Gilbert was a huge plus. I decided to order those-- $8 for three pancakes-- with the sweet potato fries (air fried) -- which cost $6 and came with peach chipotle dipping sauce. I know it was an odd combination, but I couldn't decide between the two and decided to go for both. My boyfriend decided to get the grass-fed beef burger ($12 for 1/2 pound) and just cucumber water to drink.

The other issue we encountered was the time it took for our order to get to the table; We waited for our food for about twenty minutes -- a bit long considering we were the only two people there. The sweet potato fries were delicious, as was the peach chipotle dipping sauce, especially considering I'm not a huge fan of peach OR chipotle. However, I would not say they were six dollars worth good as a side. The pancakes were enjoyable, but didn't taste much like regular pancakes. They had more of a crispy texture and tasted like thin biscuits with maple syrup. My boyfriend didn't find the burger too satisfying, especially for the price we paid. He said the bacon, onions, and tomatoes were cooked well, but the meat wasn't seasoned enough and tasted bland. Because it was very lean, he said it should have had at least something like salt and pepper to make up for the plain taste. In total, our bill wound up being $34.50, which I personally think is a bit steep for pancakes, fries, a burger, and IZZE sparkling juice.

The overall feel of the store is very laid-back and calm, which I enjoyed, but I'm not sure if that's because not many people know about it or because they have trouble finding it and give up. There's a counter to your right as you walk where you can enjoy your food, as well as some tables and chairs to your left. You can't miss the large display of protein powder near the register, the refrigerated shelves that hold their fresh cold-pressed smoothies, or the large chalkboard colorfully displaying the kids menu. The interior is bright and welcoming and there are lots of homemade goodies and all-natural snacks to peruse while you wait for your food.

I think the real winner concerning Nourish Gilbert is their website. Not only does it include their full menu, but it also has plenty of other tools to help you live a healthier lifestyle. If your friends are a fan of specific items they sell at the store, you can always purchase gift cards from $25 up to $100 with a click of a button. Because Nourish embraces a philosophy that focuses on both physical and mental health, there a variety of workshops offered during the week, which can be seen on their event calendar. Workshops include self-defense classes for women, yoga symposiums, a 'get nourished' challenge, and more. Prices are reasonable, with workshops costing about $10 or $15 and the nourish challenge -- where you pick either a 3 day, 14 day, or 28 day challenge -- starting around $297. Each challenge has a variety of different things included but all include a program and guidebook, 3 days of cold-pressed juices, yoga and nutrition classes, gym pass, nutrition assessment and more.

I really enjoyed the overall feel of the restaurant, and I'm behind their philosophy one hundred percent. I just wish the food tasted a little bit better for the price and that the wait time hadn't been so long. I would hate to see how long we would have had to wait if the place actually had a lot of customers. I think if they find a way to lower the prices and speed up their wait time, Nourish Gilbert will have ample customers come lunch time.